Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

Bill Turner

May is here and that means the biggest sporting event of the year is upon us.

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 5, where last year over 150,000 people were inside the confines of Churchill Downs to watch “the run for the roses.”

No word yet here at corporate headquarters whether The Chief is going to throw a Derby Party, but since he’s a huge fan of the equestrian world, and with the official beverage of the Derby being a mint julep, made with bourbon, sugar and mint leaves, it only seems appropriate that there’s going to be a bash. Ironically, Loudmouth’s latest pants style is called “Mint Julep” to honor the race, so I’m set to bring fashion to several upcoming appearances. I can only hope the liquid juleps show up as well.

The push around here is to get The Chief to consider buying a thoroughbred race horse to promote The Star. Last year’s Derby winner won around $1.5 million for 2 minutes work, and I’d like to think that gets The Chief’s attention. A few silks, a jockey, saddle, whip and hay should have us ready to race. Only thing left is the catchy name for the horse that shows up on the betting tote boards. I’m leaning toward a classy European name such as “Gnicar-a-Feihc.”  (while it looks like Swiss nobility, it’s actually “Chief-A-Racing” spelled backward . . . you have to be clever at The Star).

A final heads up for the Derby fans with my annual “Know Your Kentucky Derby.”

There are exactly 564 roses in the blanket put on the winner’s neck Saturday.The Derby has been run every year since its inception, the only one of The Triple Crown races to hold that claim. The longest odds horse to win the race was Donerail at 91-1 on 1913. Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack have both ridden 5 Derby winners. (There’s our jockey, Chief) At the Derby, the wild drunken party people and mud wrestling chicks are in the infield, while the well-to-do society types rule the grandstands. Yes, you always learn something when you read this column, and yes, The Chief and I will be in the infield.

Now, let’s move on to local sports, where more basketball awards, golf, pro baseball and a banquet headline the calendar.

The final Group 3A All-State basketball team was announced since last month. Two “Big-11” standouts were named to the All-State Second Team including Northside’s Julien Wooden and Hidden Valley’s Jonah Fitzgerald. Congratulations to both.

The 34th Annual Scott Robertson Memorial junior golf tournament will play out over the Roanoke Country Club links May 19, 20 & 21. Many of the top junior girls and boys players in the world will be competing. Spectators are invited to come out and watch these juniors display their amazing talents. Many former Robertson winners are now among the leaders on the LPGA and PGA tours.

The Salem Red Sox finished a successful April with a series win over Potomac on Sunday. The Sox are in first place in the Carolina League Northern Division, and have a 4-game home stand beginning May 4-7, followed by an 8-game home stand May 15-22 at Haley Toyota Field.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes Liberty basketball head coach Ritchie McKay as its guest speaker at the Monday, May 15th meeting at the Salem Civic Center. The 5:45 social is followed by the 6:00 dinner meeting. Guests and prospective new members are welcome for what is always an entertaining evening. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information or to purchase tickets.

Finally, the first 2017 late-night product review gives us a look at what appears at first glance to be something related to those cuddly Chinese bears. We present the Miracle Bamboo Bra.

When I heard the name, it seemed only natural that the first shot was of a Panda chewing on an article of underwear. But, further inspection reveals this is a seamless, comfy-stretch viscose item made from fabric somehow generated from Bamboo. It’s pitched to keep you cool all day . . . sorta sounds like a heat pump.

But, the MBB gets high points for being soft, smooth as silk and machine washable.

When you add in the fact that you get 3 different colors (white, nude and black) for only $20, I’m giving this a Wild Bill A+ rating.

Until next time, saddle up for the Derby and send your comments to info@theroanonkestar.com